This past week one of this blogs co-founders celebrated his birthday and was given a party that in true Amazing Sandwich style. Anders was not only born in Denmark but spent most of his life there and it is his and that country’s commitment to the sandwich that served as the inspiration for our blog. Denmark is the world that has transformed this humble meal to gourmet standards. So it was only appropriate that Anders’ birthday be celebrated with an ode to the smørrebrød. So last week saw me scurrying about to purchase the necessary ingredients that would make Ida Davidsen proud. Ida Davidsen is the Grande Dame of Danish smørrebrød and operates a Michelin-starred restaurant devoted solely to this national dish. We planned on three of Anders’ favorite Danish smørrebrød: leverpostej (liver pate), Fiskefilet med remoulade (fillet of fish with remoulade) and frikadeller (meatballs). Today’s entry will be devoted to the fiskefilet. I know you are thinking – what could be so special about a fish fillet? Let me tell you my friend, this is no mere fish on bread. The preparation, construction and… alone took me hours. We had 14 at our party and so in making for your own, you’ll need to adjust the ingredients accordingly.
Freshly made remoulade uses raw egg yolks. With the recent egg-scare and the fact that this was my first time making this sauce, I decided to follow the old adage and let prevention be the better part of valor. So I combined mayonnaise with sour cream, the latter to make a lighter and less fattening remoulade.
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 3 tbs whole grain mustard
- 1 tbs yellow mustard
- 3 tbs finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 3 tbs finely chopped fresh parsley
- 4 cornichons (French pickles), very finely diced
- 2 tbs anchovy paste or finely chopped anchovies
- Juice of one lemon (about ¼ cup of juice)
Combine all the ingredients together. Cover and set aside in a refrigerator until ready. This can be made a few days before. In fact, I recommend – not only do the flavors improve but you also eliminate one task on the day of the party. Trust me, given the intricacies of preparing a smørrebrød, you will be glad for one thing less.
Fish Fillet Recipe
The fish will be dipped sequentially in flour, egg wash and then bread crumbs. While it is not necessary to season the bread and the flour, I believe in adding layers of flavor and seasoning does provide a lot of flavor to what is otherwise a bland fish. You’ll need three bowls – one each for three different dips.
- 2 cups flour
- 3 tbs paprika
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 4 eggs
- 4 tbs water
- 1 cup olive oil
- 14 medium sized tilapia filets (our 14 fillets weighed just under 3 lbs)
Break the eggs and add to a bowl with the 4 tbs of water. Beat together until well-combined.
Add the flour and bread crumbs to two separate bowls. Add half of the seasonings to the flour and the other half to the bread crumbs.
Pour the oil in large skillet and heat on medium heat on the stove. Using a fork, take one of the fillets and dip first in the flour, then the egg wash and finally the breadcrumbs before adding it to the hot oil. Make sure that the fillet is completely covered with each of the dips. Repeat, adding as many fillets as can be comfortably accommodated in a single layer in the skillet. Fry for about 3 minutes and then turn and fry the other side for another 2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Repeat until all the fillets are fried.
These are served cold so you can either make them up to a day before the party. No earlier than that since you still want them to have a fresh taste.
- 2 lbs shelled tiny shrimp (about 100 shrimp per pound)
- 4 tbs fresh chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbs olive oil
- Juice of ½ lemon
Season the shrimp with the salt and pepper. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and stir fry the shrimp until just cooked. These are very tiny shrimp so you don’t want to turn your back on them as they can quickly go from raw to overcooked. You want these to be tender. Depending on the size of your sauce pan you might need to do these in batches. When all the shrimp are cooked, add the lemon juice and the parsley. Place in covered container and refrigerate until needed.
- 14 slices white bread ( I used a Pugliese purchased from Costco)
- Stick of butter (at room temperature)
- 4 lemons sliced in slivers
- 14 cherry tomatoes
- 14 lettuce leaves, washed and dried. The lettuce should be enough to half off the side of the bread – so use large leaves if possible.
Assembling the Fiskefilet med remoulade
After all that preparation you are now ready for the fun and easy part.
Spread butter on a single slice of bread and place it on a small plate. Add lettuce leaf or leaves. Place the fish filet on the lettuce leaf and use a spoon to add about 2 tbs of remoulade down the middle of the entire fillet. Place a lemon sliver about 1/3 of the way down the fillet. Cover the larger portion with heaps of shrimp and place a single cherry tomato on the smaller portion. Grab a knife and sandwich and enjoy. Velbekommen!